Decorating with the 1960s in mind

While 1950s home styling was starting to gain some colour momentum it wasn’t until the 1960s that home décor became much louder. While the 50s focused on family values...

While 1950s home styling was starting to gain some colour momentum it wasn’t until the 1960s that home décor became much louder. While the 50s focused on family values the 1960s were a time of change and rebellion with many different political and social events going on during this time (The Cold War, the space race, the Beatles, the Vietnam War, Woodstock, and Civil Rights to name but a few) growing from this, the theme of the decade became ‘peace and love‘.

With this hippie love approach to life, came the home décor inspiration through the tie-dye psychedelic colours. The 1960s were all about taking a stand for what you believed in, and making a statement, and home styles were no exception to this.

Colourful paisley and floral fabrics were often seen on furniture, paired with the non-traditional colour scheme of neon colours mixed with natural hues.

The contrast in colours seemed to match the turmoil going on during this decade. Home furniture in the 1960s took the laid back approach; bean bag chairs and the pod chair (or sometimes known as the egg chair) could be found in just about every living room (under a nice soft batch of shag carpeting, of course!) The 1960s home décor was all about comfort and relaxing.

Key 1960s elements to consider when decorating with this era in mind.

Amazing fabric patterns: sofas, chairs and other furniture covered with fabric truly portrayed the 1960s revolution in the air. Fabric was wild and wonderful, influenced by the hippie movement and psychedelia. Paisley became hugely popular for sofas and chairs. Optical art patterns, whose black and white designs fooled the eye, became a popular print and also a popular fabric for walls. So did Indian prints and patterns derived from Moroccan bazaars. Patterns and colours swirled and swam from walls, floors and furniture.

Bean bag and pod chairs: the space age and rebellion in general both influenced 1960s home décor. Space age designs often focused on the unusual shapes caused by orbits and lack of gravity. Rebellion focused on moulding institutions to fit people, rather than the other way around. Both are reflected in the popularity of bean bag and pod chairs. Both designs cast off conventional wood structure for a softer, looser chair that moulded to the person, and would take the shape of the sitter. They also, unconventionally, put the sitter closer to the floor.

Bright colours: The 1960s started out with the colours of nature. Avocado and yellow were popular colours for appliances. As the decade went on, colours spread and got wilder. Toward the end, bright neon colours were in bloom, in keeping with free expression and unconventional thinking. Mix and match palettes of bright tangerine, for example, and even brighter red with aqua accents offers a signature statement of 1960s décor.

Shag rugs: Almost every 1960s living room and bedroom had a solid colour shag rug. Shag rugs with a warm, high pile were a defining décor in the decade. Everybody’s hair was long, so why not the rugs? While the popularity of shag rugs was superseded by the current trend for hardwood floors, shag rugs are still much warmer to the feet.  Plus, if your household contains anybody who might be prone to slip on hardwood floors, older people or toddlers for example can find them hard to navigate, then shag rugs offer a much safer option.

Lava lamps: lava lamps were another defining look of the 1960s. The colour seems to melt and sway, reflecting both space age dynamics and the influence of hippies and psychedelics. Paper lampshades also become very popular, including lampshades of darker colours, which cast a subdued glow.

Best of the old, best of the new: As cool as 1960s style is, remember that 1960s houses were not nearly as energy-efficient as today’s homes. Many houses then were built without proper insulation. In your quest for 1960s flair inside your home, don’t forget that modern technology and comfort is much better than it was 50 years ago! Love your home the right way by combining state-of-the-art insulation with your paisley and bright tangerine.

In summary, key home furniture pieces and home décor styles of the 1960s include crazy patterns and textures, wild colour schemes, wood panelling on walls, plastic furniture and shag carpeting!

A Psychedelic era of fun and rebellion – what’s not to love!?